Hollywood Studio Picks Up Reddit Short Story
From Jeopardy to Hollywood, James Erwin—author of the book “The Encyclopedia of US Military Actions”—never imagined his short story would end up on the big screen when he posted a response to a question on Reddit in 2011. The former Jeopardy contestant from Des Moines, Iowa wrote a 350-word narrative in response to the question, “Could I destroy the entire Roman Empire during the reign of Augustus if I traveled back in time with a modern US Marine infantry battalion.” The tale depicted the fictional 35th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which suddenly disappeared from its post in modern-day Kabul and reemerged on the Tiber River in 23 BC.
Thousands of Reddit users took notice of Erwin’s account and demanded more, so the writer expanded the tale to 3,500 during the following week. To his surprise, Erwin was soon contacted by Warner Brothers, which wanted to turn his story into a major motion picture. The studio purchased the story, now titled “Rome, Sweet Rome,” and commissioned screenwriter Brian Miller of “Apollo 18” fame to draft the screenplay.
The screenplay will retain the original story’s premise, but the Marines will be replaced with a US Special Forces unit.
“You can definitely tell that the story was something that I dashed out on my lunch hour without doing a lot of research beforehand,” Irwin, told popularmechanics.com in 2011. “Any Marine is going to see mistakes in it, and I’m sure if there were Romans around, they’d say the same thing.”
The moral of the story for aspiring writers? Social media makes dreams come true OR you never know when Hollywood might come calling.
[Image via RomeSweetRome/Facebook]
I want more stuff like this!